Dealing with extremely dry skin? Check out tried & true remedies of out what worked best, what kind of worked & what didn't work at all.

What do you do when you have extremely dry skin and the regular remedies and lotions just aren’t doing the trick? I’m not talking about your run of the mill, slightly less supple than usual “dry skin.” I’m talking about those incredibly rough, red eczema-like patches that don’t just make you feel subconscious, but also cause burning and pulling, leaving you pretty much miserable all day long. My husband went through that when he first moved back. Between the climate change, the cats and probably a little stress, he was dealing major dry skin issues. Since he’s a veteran and it would probably take 20 years to get a dermatologist appointment through the VA (it really is THAT bad), we basically spent two months trying to figure it out ourselves. This post is the fruit of our labor, a list of what worked the best, what kind of worked and what you should just plain avoid.

Extremely Dry Skin Remedies that Really Do Work Fantastic

*Affiliate links included below.

Let’s start with what really worked well, since I’m sure that’s what you are here for anyway, right? Stick around, though, for what kind of worked because it may hold the secret to YOUR issue.

  • Argan Oil: I received a sample of Actually Organic Argan Oil right before Christmas. The timing was pretty perfect because I had recently read another blogger’s post (sorry, I don’t remember where I saw it) about how argan oil worked for them. Of all the things on this list, this little bottle of oil definitely worked the best. Just spray it directly onto the dry skin (including on your face) and rub it in. We did it twice a day and noticed a difference within the first two days. After a week, the extremely dry skin improved by at least 75%, if not more. I really like the Actually Organic because, as the name implies, it is actually 100% pure argan oil. No fillers, no junk. No smell, either.
  • Running a humidifier around the clock. Along with daily use of the argan oil, we also started running a humidifier in our room pretty much around the clock. I dug out my son’s old Crane humidifier (which still works fabulously, even after like 5 years) and plugged it in. Yes, I have a puppy humidifier in my room. It may not match the decor, but hey, it works! Run that baby constantly. Yes, it will make things a little damp close to it, but as long as you keep it away from electronics, you should be fine.
  • Good pillow cases. When you have extremely dry skin, the right pillow case can mean the difference between comfort and discomfort while you sleep.I still swear by my PeachSkinSheets, but anything with a silkier texture will work. This is one time where you don’t want flannel or cheaper polyester materials. If you’re low on cash, just replace your top pillowcase,
  • Cutting down on bacteria & dander. Back in late November, I shared how much I love my RAYCOP purifier. It’s a bit pricey, but it works really well at cutting down on bacteria and pet dander hiding on your bed, linens and furniture. If your extremely dry skin is caused by allergies, I highly recommend this tool. If it’s not in your budget, try vacuuming your bed and furniture regularly with a strong vacuum, and wash your linens often.
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What Kind of Worked Well for Our Dry Skin

These are the things that kind of sort of worked. They either reduced the dryness temporarily or at least provided some relief from the discomfort.

  • Korean face masks: You know those face masks that are all the rage right now? They’re like a weird sheet of wetness that you slap over your face and end up looking like a creepy serial killer? Yeah, well while they’re utterly weird to look at, they do help a little. You have to make sure you’re buying the ones that are designed to put moisture back into your skin. Basically, skip the clarifying or purifying masks. They feel great while they’re on, but don’t really combat extreme dryness. I do recommend getting them on Amazon because you can buy them in bulk and they end up costing just around a dollar each. I looked in stores and they were selling for around $2.50-4 each!
  • Natural face masks: Another thing we tried: lots of food-based face masks. These are the old-school masks, where you just kind of slather it on your face and let it sit there. Of all the things we tried, I think the avocado or the mango worked the best. They didn’t completely relieve the dry skin, but they did offer some cooling comfort and restored a bit of elasticity for the day. Just mush them up in a bowl with a bit of olive oil and slap on your face. You can also mix them with things like honey or yogurt.
  • Some lotions: Depending on the location of the extremely dry skin, you can get relief from some lotions. AmLactin, for example, works fantastic for rough spots on your elbows, knees and hands. It’s also pretty good for dryness on your limbs (like when your legs get really dry in the winter). I don’t recommend it for the face, though. I’ve written about AmLactin in the past and I really do swear by it for general overall dryness. The thicker creams (rather than the lotions) work the best for me. The key to choosing a lotion is to look for one that doesn’t have fragrance or a ton of weird artificial colorants and so on. As much as I LOVE Bath and Body Works throughout most of the year, their lotions can be a little irritating to those with extremely dry skin because of all the fragrance that makes them so popular. One thing that works great from them, though, is the Rose Salve lip stuff. If your lips are feeling totally unkissable, this is the stuff to use.
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What just plain didn’t work?

So what just plain doesn’t work? Pretty much everything else we tried. Expensive face lotions (we’ve tried a bunch!) did nothing at all for extremely dry skin. While they worked well on mild dryness, don’t expect that $50 face cream to zap your eczema-like redness overnight. Home remedies like cornstarch, baking soda, and so on have never really worked for my dry skin. I tried that Listerine thing for my feet once (where you soak in Listerine and something else), nada. There are so many great uses for Listerine, but combatting extremely dry skin just isn’t one of them. That doesn’t mean these things won’t work for you, everyone is different.

Hot baths, FYI, also don’t work. I knew better than to try that one, but I’m telling you anyway. An extremely hot bath will feel absolutely fantastic while you’re soaking in it. Once you get out, though, your skin will be dryer than ever. While you’re dealing with the issue, stick with lukewarm baths. Basically as cool as you can handle it considering we’re smack-dab in the middle of winter here.

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We are still going to try a few other things, but honestly, of all the remedies we tried, Argan Oil is the best. I’m not just saying that because I got a free sample to check out. It worked so incredibly well that we’ll definitely be buying more once this one runs out. We’re heading out of town this weekend and my husband even reminded me to make sure I pack our bottle in my suitcase.

Happy Holidays

A post shared by Justin Hanson (@actuallyorganic) on

If you want to give it a try, buy Actually Organic Argan Oil on Amazon, or on their website. It comes in different sizes, so you can get the smallest (and cheapest) one to check it out.

Have you found the perfect remedy for your extremely dry skin? Tell me about it so I can give it a try! 

Dealing with extremely dry skin? Check out tried & true remedies of out what worked best, what kind of worked &  what didn't work at all.